The global Travel & Tourism sector is forecast to grow by 3.5 percent during 2015, representing strong growth despite numerous challenges that have already taken place this year, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) said on Wednesday.
According to the WTTC’s annual autumn update to its Economic Impact research, GDP growth of 3.5 percent is forecast for the sector in 2015. This is slightly lower than the forecast at the beginning of the year, mostly due to weaker domestic spending.
Already this year, the sector has seen many regional incidents that have impacted the tourism economies throughout the world. These include the diseases of MERS in South Korea and Ebola in West Africa; natural disasters, such as the earthquake in Nepal and typhoons in the Philippines; terrorism attacks in Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, France and Mali; political turmoil and continued unrest in Ukraine and Syria.
“Travel & Tourism is a tremendously resilient sector. Despite a number of terrible regional incidents throughout the year, the sector will still grow 1 percent faster than global GDP in 2015”, David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, said.
WTTC estimates that the sector’s total contribution to the world economy in 2015 will be US$7.8 trillion and it will support 284 million jobs across the globe, which underlines its enormous significance to the economy of the world. Visitor exports, which is money spent by foreign travellers, are forecast to grow by 2.9 percent percent in 2015, in line with the continuous growth of international travel.
South Asia is still expected to be the fastest growing Travel & Tourism region with 7.7 percent growth, which is heavily stimulated by the growth in India. Latin America is expected to be the slowest growing Travel & Tourism region, with a low-level growth of 1.7 percent. This is predominantly caused by the slowdown of the Brazilian economy, which is estimated to decline by 2.1 percent this year.
“Over the next ten years, Travel & Tourism is anticipated to contribute US$11.3 trillion in GDP to the world economy and will support 355 million jobs worldwide. This equates to 1 in 10 jobs on the planet”, the WTTC said.